Tore, Flop, Ate, Booger: A Review of the Met Gala 

This afternoon, our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg called up our senior editor Taylore Scarabelli from London on his lunch break to scroll through the looks from the Gilded Glamour-themed 2022 Met Gala. Below, Mel and Taylore break down what hit, what tore, what ate, and what flopped. 


MEL OTTENBERG: Okay so first of all, on a night of boogers, Kim killed. Never in all of my years of styling Rihanna would I have ever thought of something so audacious and sacrilegious and I’m totally here for it. That’s not a diss. It’s just like something I would have never thought to do because I respect the history too much. But you know what? It’s Kim’s world now. I just love that she nailed this because she really is the personification of The Gilded Age in a million ways. She’s also literally Bertha in The Gilded Age. Have you seen it? Kim last night was so Bertha in the season finale and I ate it up. A woman that society didn’t want there, and through her sheer nerve and talents, she not only got in but she fucking won. And Kim totally won last year In Balenciaga as well. She’s currently the A-list star that the Met Gala needs like oxygen. She wanted it, and she made it happen. I just think it’s amazing. When anyone says it’s not on theme I’m like, “Bitch, she is the theme. She is the Gilded Age.”

TAYLORE SCARABELLI: The Gilded Age was a time of technological innovation, but also economic booms and busts. It’s so similar to what we are going through now with social media and information sharing, rising inequality, and all of that stuff. There was a major recession during that time, but I noticed that Vogue conveniently stated that the Gilded Age ended in 1890 Instead of 1900, because that’s when things got a little funky with the economy. Anyway, when you think of Kim Kardashian, she really personifies the time we’re living through now. Like you said, it almost doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, she is the moment.


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OTTENBERG: She is the moment and also, her wearing that dress to tell a new, exciting story about the history of American fashion is really interesting to me. Jean Louis is not a designer that anyone would have ever heard of. I love the fact that that décolletage has now been seen by the culture as a winning boob shape because I’ve been really into ’60s brassieres. The dress is not see-through. It is showing everything and showing nothing. It has a lot of structure. It’s not a slip dress. I also love that all these kids were screaming about hating the spray tan. The tan looks great, and I love the blonde and I love the fur. 

SCARABELLI: I think it’s cool that she brought back something vintage because a lot of the looks from current designers just felt like marketing. There were so many logos and like, “trademark colors” on the red carpet. It seems like people aren’t really interested in celebrating fashion, they’re just there to sell their brand. I mean, it’s a huge event, millions of people are watching, and it’s an opportunity to get your stuff out there, I get it. But because of that we seem to be missing out on the fantasy of it all. 

OTTENBERG: Yes, the dreaming and challenging the eye and all of that stuff. 

SCARABELLI: Do you want to look through this list of best dressed people? 

OTTENBERG: Sure. There were a lot of flops last night. But there were some unexpected looks that I was into. Let’s scroll. I’m not into that first one. Maude ate in Miu Miu. She looks like a John Singer Sargent heroine.

SCARABELLI: She looks classic. 


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OTTENBERG: Amber Valetta looks fucking brilliant in vintage Azzaro. One trend that I’m really into was chill hair and makeup. Kate Moss looks so good and perfectly on-theme.

SCARABELLI: I wonder if people were just scared to go all out last night. 

OTTENBERG: Oh, I think people were going all out. They just had trash looks. Okay next. Shalom Harlow in Ralph Lauren is great. She looks fucking amazing. Wait, I don’t like this best dressed list. Who made this? 


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SCARABELLI: Right? Can we talk about Kylie Jenner’s look because honestly I kind of loved it. She looked comfortable and it was so her—King Kylie just having a moment in Off-White. It’s not for me, but I appreciate when people really commit to their look.

OTTENBERG: I’m going to go with you on that. I think you just convinced me to think it’s cute. Also, I like being into what nobody else is into, so I feel you. But wait, where’s all the pictures of this thing? Because I really have to go back to set. I thought that the guy that we all thought was Jared Leto but wasn’t Jared Leto looked pretty fab in Iris van Herpen. I don’t know who he is but he’s major. It’s giving Gilded Age technology down. Also, why was [redacted] wearing a gold dress?

SCARABELLI: I know. That was a bold move. 

OTTENBERG: Kiki Lane looked really good. And Blake Lively in Versace, I’m not mad. Listen, I like the Statue of Liberty. So I’m into it.

SCARABELLI: It was all about the patina. 


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OTTENBERG: Nicki Minaj in Burberry was a major guest list stunt for me. Into. Okay next. Not cute. Not cute. Not cute. Not cute. Okay Erykah Badu and Francesco Risso look great together in Marni. And Katy Perry’s bust in that Oscar de la Renta…She really has some of the best boobs I’ve ever seen on any woman ever.

SCARABELLI: I really was hoping she was going to dress up like the Brooklyn Bridge.

OTTENBERG: Okay this one no, no, nope. Okay, Russell Westbrook looks pretty good in Thom Browne. Also Cardi’s Versace dress looks pretty amazing.

SCARABELLI: Honestly, that was a highlight for me.

OTTENBERG: Cardi looks nasty in a really good way. I think Jack Harlow is cute. 


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SCARABELLI: Okay next. This outfit…I feel like she’s just happy and satisfied with her man and doesn’t give a fuck.

OTTENBERG: Okay there’s a lot of things that I’m looking at right now that I’m not discussing. Wait, what is Gunna wearing because I really think he’s so cute and looks good.

SCARABELLI: It’s Thom Browne. 

OTTENBERG: Maisie Williams looks sort of incredible. She was walking and talking with Christine Baranski, I mean, just give it all to Christine Baranski. Maisie is also giving some real gilded age shit, very “I’m going to powder my nose,” teas, if you know what I mean. She’s the fierce, high society gal you want to hang out with. 


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SCARABELLI: It’s on theme and I like that it’s not super ostentatious.

OTTENBERG: Agree. I think that [redacted] may have killed it. I can’t really tell from this picture. Oh my god, Irina Shayk as Peter Marino, not no. She’s so major. Next. Oh, my god [redacted]. Flop season.

SCARABELLI: He would have looked cute in Willy Chavarria. 

OTTENBERG: Yeah. Oh my god. I’m on all these bad ones. And I gotta go back to work. Here we go. Anitta looks major. 

SCARABELLI: She’s hot. It also seemed like the Moschino crew was having fun, which adds another layer to it.

OTTENBERG: I’d like to be at that table. I’d also love to sit with Michael Kors and Sigourney Weaver. Trust.

SCARABELLI: Moving on. Wait, can we talk about this next one? He looks crazy. 

OTTENBERG: He looks crazy and we actually don’t need to talk about it. I think Billy Eilish tore in Gucci. She looks like she’s having fun. 

SCARABELLI: I mean it’s super on the nose but why not? People are mad when it’s on the nose and people are mad when it isn’t. 


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OTTENBERG: I liked Kris in Oscar de la Renta, she’s giving me RIP Ron Galella vibes. The world of glamour dimmed yesterday. Also, I was watching the Met red carpet until two AM last night, and when Kim was walking the stairs was when Jeremy O. Harris called me about Roe v. Wade being overturned.We’ve been on the phone for 15 minutes and we haven’t even talked about that. We live in such a simulated hell. This is the second apocalypse Met. Sad times. 

SCARABELLI: True, but I also think people are aware of that. This year’s Met Gala seemed to generate a lot of hate and criticism. We love the spectacle, but we’re also fed up with it. People are saying this was the worst Met Gala ever. And I’m like, “Is it? Or is it just not hitting in this era?” 

OTTENBERG: Well, it’s hitting because the whole world is talking about it. It’s doing a thing. But America’s going to hell and we’re stuck in this simulated TikTok world

SCARABELLI: The question is, what is the role of fashion in this era and what resonates right now? We need something really special to inspire us in this moment and bedazzled gowns aren’t really giving. 

OTTENBERG: I texted Rihanna this morning about how people are so obsessed with this on-theme thing now. It didn’t used to be like that. When I first styled Rihanna for the Met Ball in 2012 I was like, “Fuck the theme, themes are corny,” and then we slowly came around and got into themes together and did Guo Pei, then Comme Des Garcons, then Heavenly Bodies. But now the theme-policing is too much. “The theme, the assignment, blah blah,” calm down. But I also kind of love it. 

SCARABELLI: Also, people taking the theme seriously in a political way doesn’t hit. Riz Ahmed wore a look that paid homage to immigrant workers. It was meant to personify inequality during the Gilded Age, but it fell so flat for me. You’re wearing weird boots and a workwear-inspired outfit, but at the end of the day it’s still a designer look on a red carpet. It’s hard to critique anything within that space. 

OTTENBERG: Interesting, Ok, Fredrik Robertsson, whoever you are, girl you look fucking major. Julianne Moore in Tom Ford looks gorgeous. I don’t give a fuck if this is on theme or not. 

SCARABELLI: What about this Schiaparelli look?

OTTENBERG: Louisa Jacobson is literally giving Pat Buckly Nan Kempner social x-ray ballroom. It’s kind of incredible.

SCARABELLI: She really let it all out. 

OTTENBERG: I’m here for it. 


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SCARABELLI: Evan Mock looks cute. It’s kind of like what I wore to the after party last night.

OTTENBERG: Wait, what is he wearing?

SCARABELLI: Head of State. 

OTTENBERG: I gotta text him. He looks so cute. The pink hair is back. 

SCARABELLI: That’s because they’re filming Gossip Girl right now.


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OTTENBERG: Ok let’s go to the next one. No, no, no, no. Love you, but no.

SCARABELLI: I didn’t know [redacted] dressed people. Okay that person needs to be styled by Mel Ottenberg.

OTTENBERG: That person needs to call me and hire me. Okay, not no on Amy Schumer. She looks stoned and I like that she has come out of the ashes as a major meme today. 

SCARABELLI: Can we talk about this Prada moment? 


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OTTENBERG: I love Priscilla Presley in Prada and I think she and Nicki Minaj are the two greatest snap castings of the night. I’m truly excited about this Elvis movie. I can’t wait to see if Austin, who I adore, becomes a big star overnight—and we love a Baz comeback. 

SCARABELLI: Okay, a Rick Owens moment. Who is this?

OTTENBERG: That’s Lisa Airan, my mom’s former dermatologist. She’s major. Okay Annie Leibovitz kind of snapped. Annie Leibovitz you’re a fucking G. 

SCARABELLI: It’s giving rich. 


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OTTENBERG: Tom Ford looks hot. 


OTTENBERG: I’ve always been so starstruck around him because he’s so hot. 

SCARABELLI: He really is. He also doesn’t like following the theme which is funny because he’s the host.

OTTENBERG: Well sometimes when you’re the dad you don’t really need to show up for all the kids’ parties. Wait, Jeremy O. Harris texted me something. It’s a post from Amanda Lepore. 

SCARABELLI: Oh my god how did we not talk about Kim’s Pleasers. She also wore them for her Skims launch recently. 


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SCARABELLI: Maybe she’s just trying to say that she’s doing a dance for us.

OTTENBERG: Honey, she is and I’m here for it. Marilyn Monroe was five six and Kim is five three and they couldn’t alter the dress so she needed the height of Pleasers. But if you had fancy gold platforms or got a pair of Pleasers covered in gold leather at Pasquale Shoe Repair on San Vicente it might end up being all about the shoes. It’s better in clear plastic because it’s sort of like walking on air. I’m watching the video again right now, it’s the right shoe. Also, Marilyn Monroe wore lucite heels in How to Marry a Millionaire. Also, Amanda Lapore, always and forever. This Amanda post is incredible. 

SCARABELLI: Ok last thing, I loved Hamish Bowles’s tiara.

OTTENBERG: He’s such a star. Also, Vanessa Hudgens looks incredible. I think we should put her in the magazine.

SCARABELLI: I also think Hamish is good at giving subtle shade without saying anything. He has real knowledge and can carry the torch of A.L.T. 

OTTENBERG: I remember trying to get Rihanna’s yellow coat up those stairs in 2015. It was the most stressful thing I’d ever done because if I fucked it up, she would have fallen backwards— it weighed a thousand pounds. It was really complicated and stressful and I was sweaty and all of that. Then, when we got to the top, Andre was there lauding her for winning and doing it and just gagging over the look. I was just like, “Okay, we did it and this is going to be a hit and I know it because there’s a major fashion authority who’s really getting it.” We the people need authority, power and knowledge, no?

SCARABELLI: Yes. Because, as we’ve seen with all these Twitter hot takes, a lot of people don’t really don’t know what they’re talking about.

OTTENBERG: I’m like dying over some of the things the Twitter and TikTok children are saying. Some of it is so genius because it’s exactly the truth without any filter, but then they totally get it wrong on the next one.

SCARABELLI: We love it. There’s room for everyone.